Unlike many tower blocks, Glenkerry House is not run by an external management company, but by the residents themselves. This allows us not only to maintain control over our living environment, but also to keep down the maintenance and service costs.
Every January we elect management committee members at our Annual General Meeting. This committee consists of up to 15 members, including Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, and meets once a month to discuss the smooth running of the co-operative. A large part of the work is also done through a number of standing Sub-Committees (Resident Selection, Maintenance, Finance, and Information & Social). It can also use other non-members if it so chooses but these persons would work under the superintendence of the committee.
The Co-operative is registered with its regulator as a Housing Association and thus registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. There are two major aspects to this scheme which make us different from other forms of housing - (1) community leasehold and (2) co-operative housing association. The community leasehold elements are outlined above, while the co-operative elements assign responsibility to the residents to both manage the association and be joint owners of the building.
GCHA has survived because of its committed volunteer resident members, people who are interested in and actively prepared to implement and participate in the co-operative principles. Even those residents not involved in the higher levels of the committee are encouraged to help out like preparing our social functions or even designing websites!
Having a busy life yourself is not considered a bar to volunteering here, so PLEASE DO NOT APPLY TO JOIN IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO DEVOTE PERSONAL TIME TO THE RUNNING OF THE ASSOCIATION.
We are a co-operative and the co-operative ethos extends to living in the block comfortably. Most of the ‘rules’ we have are there to ensure ‘peaceful and quiet enjoyment’ of our home, consideration for others and keeping the service charges as low as possible.
Although small, we do use acronyms – these are the main ones:
- COM – committee of management – up to 15 shareholders who agree to meet at least once a month to maintain the block
- RSC – Resident Selection Sub-committee – a part of the Committee of Management that advertise, interview applicants, and ensure sales and purchases are as smooth as possible.
- MSC – Maintenance Sub-Committee – a part of the Committee of Management that are available to ensure the block is physically maintained to the high standard we all enjoy.
- FSC – Finance Sub-Committee – a part of the Committee of Management that ensure the Association's books, investments, bills and budget including the monthly service charge are dealt with.
- ISSC – Information & Social Sub-committee – a part of the Committee of Management that organises our social functions throughout the year
As a housing association, we also have to abide by regulations and have issued policies in respect of anti-social behaviour, equalities and diversity, and harassment including hate crimes. We are governed by our: Rule Book, Under Lease and Head Lease, and relevant legislation. As with all housing associations, our regulator is in the main the Homes & Communities Agency, along with the Financial Conduct Authority and we are a mandatory member of the Independent Housing Ombudsman's (IHO) scheme. Both will only step in if there are severe failings in m
anagement and expect all local processes to have been completed.
All skills and knowledge are welcome and there is something suitable for everyone. It can also be an interesting way to learn something new.
It is important for you to acknowledge that you have to be able to afford to live in Glenkerry as well as prove that to our satisfaction; as well as having a need to live here and being prepared to positively contribute. An absolute bar to joining is simultaneously owning property elsewhere because we are a social housing organisation.
The key element and most fundamental reason for our success is the involvement of those who live here in the running and maintenance of the block. Residents own their flats as leaseholders and participate as members of the housing association. Leaseholders must be members and vice versa.
Of the work that is undertaken, that which can be done by members is, and for that which cannot we engage the appropriate contractor or advisor/consultant. We use an external management company/Surveyors for technical and administrative help and this allows us to maintain control over our living environment and keep a tight rein on costs. Glenkerry has been running successfully on this basis for more than thirty-five years. We also employ a remote worker, the Committee Administration Manager (CAM), to help with the administration.
We oversee this activity through fairly typical and traditional structures like the Committee of Management and its several sub-committees, meeting regulatory and statutory requirements and report each year at the annual general meeting to review progress and approve the accounts.
The Annual General Meeting is held in mid/late January and receives the annual report of the committee together with the audited accounts, determines major issues and discusses future direction and policy. It also elects members (share-holders) of the Association to serve on the committee for the forthcoming three years.
Members are able to participate in a number of ways which vary in complexity and time commitment to reflect work and lifestyle arrangements. However, some form of service on the management committee for a period of 3 years is expected, as is attendance at the AGM each January. This variety prevents the burden becoming too onerous for any individual whilst allowing the association to flourish. As a co-operative we work together in a supportive and encouraging way.
If you are interested in buying into both a flat and Glenkerry’s living, and are committed to helping to run the association, then first check that you are eligible and then please click here to learn about buying a home at Glenkerry House.